Page last updated at 09:04 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:04 UK

Eco-town planning 'will continue'

Protest outside council offices
Protesters urged the council to reject the plans outside its meeting

A developer has pledged to continue with its plans to build an eco-town in south Warwickshire despite a council's objection to the scheme.

Stratford-on-Avon District Council members voted to reject government plans for Middle Quinton, which is among sites on a eco-town shortlist.

But developer St Modwen's John Degan said the decision "certainly won't stop us continuing what we are planning".

Protesters said the town of 6,000 new homes would be detrimental to the area.

The final 10 sites will be chosen in the next six months and work on them is expected to start by 2020.

Ministers say the new "environmentally friendly" towns will be low energy, carbon-neutral developments, which will help provide affordable housing.

But at a meeting on Monday, Stratford-on-Avon District councillors voted to reject to the scheme and to write to the government asking for the development to be removed from the shortlist.

'Premature' decision

Mr Degan said he was "not surprised" by the council's decision.

"I am disappointed perhaps that they decided on posturing in public before information that needs to be available is available and obviously I think the decision is premature," he said.

He added: "I hope it won't stop the council continuing to co-operate with us on trying to get an objective understanding of the proposals."

He said some protesters' views that the planning process behind the eco-towns was "undemocratic" was untrue.

Mr Degan added if the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) approved the Warwickshire scheme in the autumn the firm would "go through the full rigors of controversial planning applications".

Opponents from the Better Accessible Responsible Development (Bard) campaign argue that the development would lead to congestion in nearby villages and that there has not been enough consultation.

Mr Degan said the company understood people's concerns over traffic issues.

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